from the archives: a dry erase marker and a mirror

{I've recently begun wandering through my blog of old, back in the years of 2009 and 2010. I've culled a few posts that inspired self-compassion and appreciation for where I've been, and wanted to share a few here, unedited, in honor of that long-ago girl. This post is from May 2010 -- enjoy xo}

 

In college, during my senior year, my roommates and I moved into an apartment. We spoiled ourselves silly, those two semesters. Maybe we didn't buy food as often as is deemed healthy and appropriate, and maybe we didn't participate in expensive campus goings-on at the time, and maybe we stayed within a 10-mile radius of campus so as not to waste gas, but boy, did we have it made in that apartment.

We each had our own bedrooms, with these big-sliding-mirrored-closet-doors that were just fantastic. Now that I'm living at home again and I have to run into my sister's now-vacant bedroom every time I want to look into a full-length mirror, I'm pining for those mirrored doors.

Early that year, Stephanie had taken to doodling and writing little notes to us with markers on our mirrors to read when we'd wake up in the morning. She always made me smile with her notes. She'd written on her own closet mirror, too, decorating it and writing little notes to herself, even.

This girl is wise beyond her years.

One day I walked into her room to find a little reminder to herself scrawled on her mirror-door, right next to her bed.

You are a strong, beautiful, intelligent woman who deserves to be loved, it read.

At first I giggled. Of course you are. We all are.

But then I thought about it. Do we all know that? Really know that? Maybe that's why I was giggling--because I didn't truly believe it.

 

Stephanie's little love note to herself stuck with me. Every time I entered her room, I read it. Sometimes it would just pop into my head without me realizing it. I had it memorized. It became like a pattern in my brain.

At home now, I have it written on my mirror above my dresser. It says I am a strong, beautiful, intelligent woman who deserves to be loved.

I am a strong, beautiful, intelligent woman who deserves to be loved.

I am a strong, beautiful, intelligent woman who deserves to be loved.

I am a strong, beautiful, intelligent woman who deserves to be loved.

It's on my desktop notepad on my computer screen too, and scribbled here and there throughout my planner. It comes as second nature now.

 

A few weeks ago, my aunt and little cousin were over for dinner. Later that night, I walked into my room to find eight-year-old Katie standing in front of my dresser, staring at the mirror. "I am a strong, beautiful, intelligent woman who deserves to be loved? What's that?"

But she wasn't giggling. She was intrigued. Her expression was completely serious. She really wanted to know why it was there and what it meant.

I explained the purpose of affirmations to her and why I liked that particular sentence. I could see her thinking about it, deciding if she thought I was crazy or funny or maybe even smart. She began to read it slowly.

"I am a strong, beautiful, intelligent woman who deserves to be loved. I am a strong, beautiful, intelligent woman who deserves to be loved. I am a strong, beautiful, intelligent woman who deserves to be loved! I AM A STRONG, BEAUTIFUL, INTELLIGENT WOMAN WHO DESERVES TO BE LOVED!" Her face could hardly contain her wonderment.

Then she ran to tell her mom her revelation. And my heart almost melted.

 

 

So, thanks Steph. I'm glad we had that overly-expensive apartment, and those unnecessarily huge mirrored closet doors, and your wit about yourself to even think of doing something so extraordinary. A dry erase marker, and a mirror. That's all it took.